With Labour having bounced back at local level from the kicking they took in 2006, the death of New Labour will leave the door open to a resurgence of radical local opposition to Cameron's government in a repeat of the loony rainbow coalitions in the town halls that challenged Thatcher in the 1980s. Eric's every instinct will be to pull the control noose even more tightly to strangle dissent - and this is completely the wrong answer.
If the good voters of the People's Republic of South Yorkshire are willing to pay double their present Council Tax to keep their healthy eating co-ordinators and walking encouragement advisors in post, why not? The Conservatives more than anyone should support giving Socialist local government all the rope it needs to hang itself.
So abolish capping, and with it all the Whitehall micro-management of exactly how many pieces of litter are permissible on a suburban street during weekday daylight hours (and this isn't a joke - Whitehall actually issues standard photographs to local councils to show exactly what the statutory limit of 0.1 litter units per m2 looks like) and all the rest of the constipated anally retentive bureaucratic dross that emanates from the fusty trouser region of Eric's new department.
At the same time, reduce the Rate Support Grant or whatever it's called these days by 10%. With the level of gearing in council finance, councils will either have to cut dross or raise council tax by 25% to cover the shortfall.
Good councils will cope, bad ones will fail and be rejected by their voters. But whatever they do, it must be their decision, not Eric's.
But will Pickles be able to resist the temptation to 'go native' in his new department and cement Whitehall's ruthless centrism? About as much as he can resist a Full English, I'd think.